Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Return to Mindful Eating

Today my pants have officially begun cutting off my circulation. 

A snip-it of my conversation with myself yesterday.

Me: It's time.

Myself: Time for what?

Me: You know. You've been building up to this moment for five weeks now.

Myself: Let's see, five weeks. That was Thanksgiving time.

Me: Exactly. Ever since that bountiful day in November the consumption of all things rich and sweet and fat-ful have made a permanent place in our kitchen and our hearts.

Myself: Well, what's so wrong with that? Rich, sweet and fat-ful - that's the good stuff right there, girl.

Me: There is nothing particularly wrong with rich, sweet and fat-ful. But I'll admit, I am frightened every time I glance down in the general direction of my midsection. I'm having flashbacks.

Myself: To what?

Me: Those early days of pregnancy. You know, when that little belly is hanging out and making a cute baby bump. Looking down and seeing that everyday scares me.

Myself: What's so wrong with a baby bump? We love baby bumps!

Me: Indeed we do love baby bumps. We're doulas and childbirth educators after all. We LOVE baby bumps. Love, love, love 'em. But seeing one of those around my waist is not anything I plan to don again anytime soon. Excuse me, I meant to say ever again.

Myself: Oh yea, now I remember our slogan - "Three is enough for me."

Me: Right.

Myself: Right.

So I welcome back mindful eating once again.

Let us remember that I buy most of my clothes from the garage sales hosted by the sorority girls in town. In order to fit in my jeans from those skinny little girls I have several principles I follow as I embrace mindful eating.

But before I outline them here, I'd like to take a trip down memory lane to remind me, myself and I of my true nature.

Over the past five weeks, it was not uncommon for me to...

Devour an entire batch of Heavenly Burnt Sugar Almonds before they've even had a chance to cool.

Enjoy an entire package of fake Oreos before bedtime.

Take a break with half a bowl of Puppy Chow when the dough stirring got tough.

Polish off pounds upon pounds of rich dough and savory bacon without a worry in the world.

Enough said.

Eating like this works for me only for a time. But not without end.

Every good thing must come to an end. Similar to Christmas music. Too much of it and it looses it's effect.

Reserving all this goodness for certain special occasions makes it all that much more enjoyable when I do have it.

Too much of this stuff can be a bad thing. Sugar crashes. Zits. Fatigue. Saddlebags. Not to mention all of the explaining I have to do when my kids ask why they can't eat an entire package of Oreos like mommy does. It gets tiring my friends.

So here's what I know I need to do to remedy this overindulgent situation...

Cut Sugar. Entirely. No, not just reduce the sugar. Eliminate it. My cravings are so fierce that I can't have just a bit of sugar and call it a day. Let us remember that bag of Oreos. I must rid my body of the urge to consume mass amounts of sugar. Every time I do this I have three terrible days of sugar withdrawals. Shaking included. This subsides into two hard weeks of battling my mental cravings. And then I'm home free. In my book "sugar" includes all refined sugars and sweet treats, sugar substitutes, fruit, fruit juices, etc. I do, however, reintroduce small portions of whole fruit once I've detoxed and am feeling stable.

Always Protein. If food enters the body, I must pair it with protein. Chips and hummus. Rice cake and peanut butter. Salad and hard boiled eggs. This way I avoid the tendency to eat half a bag of chips and call it lunch. Or a bowl of air puffed rice and call it breakfast.

Speaking of chips for lunch... I say Adios Potato Chips. Arrivederci. Au Revoir. Tam Biet. These fried morsels of goodness are my true downfall. If I'm not careful, I have days where potato chips are half my calories. This does not lead to optimal functioning for me or the pocketbook.

Embrace the Water. Drink water, water and more water.

Fuel Frequently. Eat every two hours. This boosts the metabolism and keeps the body from entering starvation mode. Which in turn makes it so much easier to make healthful choices throughout the day.

Fanciful Fats. I love me some fat. Avocados. Olive oil. Almonds. Flax seeds. Walnuts. Salmon. Coconut oil. Bacon. Including healthy fats in the diet keep the body running smoothly, the mind sharp and the belly full. Of course bacon isn't a healthy fat, but every girl needs her some indulgences. My leading rule of thumb is not to skimp on the fats while I'm working to reduce my waistline. It's the thing that helps me get through. Thank goodness.

Cut it off. I can't put a lick of food in my mouth after 7pm or else I'm doomed. I have a very bad habit of eating half my food for the day in the nighttime hours. Once I start it's nearly impossible for me to stop. It is so easy to fuel myself after the kids are in bed and the chaos of the house has settled down. During the day it can be hard to get a moment to eat a decent meal. I'm running here and there, changing diapers, filling water cups, sopping up spilled milk. My gosh, a woman's work is never done. Even when I do get a chance to sit down and eat, some little person is usually sabotaging my plate and stealing half the food on it.

These eating guidelines helped me to lose my last 20 pounds of baby weight this summer. I had more energy, greater focus, and more vibrancy for life than I've ever had before.

While all of the holiday indulgences were delightful, I look forward to my return to mindful eating.

Anybody with me?


  1. Oh Judith, I am SO with you!
    If I don't get these extra 15 pounds of baby weight off I'm going to lose my mind!
    I'm printing off your rules now. :)

  2. Definitely! I've been thinking some of those same things for myself. I was already planning to do the no sugar thing and will try your other ideas too.

  3. mmmmm puppy chow is my favorite and those bacon buns look mighty fine too!

  4. I'm working especially on cutting sugar and gluten. It's great you'r taking such healthy steps.
    Happy 2011!


  5. Glad you're with me girls. Here's to a happy and healthy 2011!!!


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